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What Is the Difference Between the 67 & the 68 Impala?

by Michael Bailey

Out-pacing the Ford Galaxie, the Dodge Coronet and the Plymouth Fury at over 1 million sales, Chevrolet's redesigned Impala finished 1965 with the best-selling single year of any car in history. Dealers expected lots of trade-ins, and customers expected something new. Chevy refined the styling on the big car with an emphasis on flowing curves for 1967 and 1968, going to a more conservative look in 1969 and 1970 to close out the fourth generation.

Heavy Metal Value

In a quest to improve side-impact safety, the 1965 redesign of the Impala chassis abandoned the previous X-Frame for a full box-section perimeter frame with a 119-inch wheelbase. This frame remained in use until 1970, and contributed substantially to the car's 4,000-pound weight range. Brakes were 11-inch manual drums with optional power assist, and buyers could opt for 11.75-inch power front disc brakes. The disc brakes required 15-inch Rally wheels that went from 5 inches wide to 6 inches wide in 1968.

The Super Sport package added heavy duty springs and shocks, and a front stabilizer bar. A front stabilizer bar was also standard for non-SS, big-block cars. Heavy-duty front and rear stabilizer bars were Regular Production Option F41. This package was included with RPO Z24, the legendary SS 427. The width of the Impala was 79.9 inches in 1967 and 79.6 inches in 1968. Overall length in 1967 was 212.4 inches for wagons and 213.2 inches for the other models. This grew slightly in 1968, to 213.9 inches for wagons and 214.7 inches for the others.

Moving a Mountain

Impala buyers had a choice of ways to put two tons of big Chevy in motion, starting with the standard choice of either a 250-cubic-inch, inline six-cylinder, or a no-cost small-block V-8. For 1967, the standard V-8 was the 283-cubic-inch, replaced by the 307 in 1968. A more powerful 327-cubic-inch engine was available as well. This was the Turbo-Jet 327 with 275 horsepower and 355 foot-pounds of torque. In 1968, an intermediate 250-horsepower version of the 327 was an additional choice. For the very impatient, Chevy offered the Turbo-Jet big-block V-8 in 396- and 427-cubic-inch flavors. The 396 brought 325 horsepower and 410 foot-pounds of torque to the table. The 427 offered 385 horsepower and 460 foot-pounds of torque. The 425-horsepower L72 version of the 427 joined the option list in 1968, also with a torque rating of 460 foot-pounds.

The standard transmission was a three-speed manual, except for the big-block V-8 engines. An overdrive option could be ordered for the standard engines. The four-speed Muncie replaced the Saginaw for the 396 and 427, which required the usually optional four-speed transmission. A two-speed Powerglide automatic was optional except with the 427, and a Turbo Hydramatic three-speed automatic was also offered for the big-block engines. These choices were the same in both years.

Big is Beautiful

Chevy stylists incorporated a look in 1967 and 1968 that is often referred to as “Coke-bottle” styling, with a belt line profile that narrowed in front of the rear axle, then transformed into vestigial fins that swept up to blend into the rear deck. Taillights are probably the easiest and quickest visual cue to determine whether you're looking at a 1967 Impala or one from 1968. The front and rear of the car were restyled slightly, due to a change in the bumpers to meet upcoming safety standards for 1969. The 1967 Impala had two narrow rectangular taillights with rounded corners. In 1968, the taillights returned to the traditional three-taillight arrangement. Chevy also went to hidden wipers in 1968, which meant a longer hood to hide the cowl.

There were five body styles in 1967: Sport hardtops and pillared models in two- and four-door versions, a wagon and a convertible. For 1968, Chevrolet added a sixth body style, a fastback, two-door hardtop called the Custom Sport Coupe. The Z03 Super Sport package could be ordered for Sport coupes and convertibles. SS buyers got a blacked-out grille, rocker trim and tail panel, and special badging,

More than Skin Deep

The standard interior for the Impala was an embroidered cloth-upholstered bench seat with optional headrests. Strato-Lounger bucket seats were optional for two-door body styles. As a luxury model, the Impala came standard with full carpeting and noise insulation. Interiors have few differences between 1967 and 1968, with the exception of the instrument cluster, which was rectangular in 1967 and featured three round gauges in 1968. The SS package included bucket seats, a center console, special badging, a custom steering wheel, a tachometer and sport gauges.

All Over the Place

Chevy's line of big cars was divided into four trim levels. The Biscayne was plain, inexpensive to operate and designed for durability, making it ideal for fleet purchases. The Bel Air was the standard family fare, and the Caprice offered serious luxury. The Impala's emphasis on personal options and sporting performance amounts to a premium value among Chevrolet's big car lineup, in today's market.

The Impala's relatively affordable pricing for these years reflects the car's enormous production numbers and continued availability over 40 years later. According to the Standard Catalog of American Automobiles, the Impala alone sold far more than the entire output of American Motors in 1967. Even the coveted SS models with the big-block engines rarely reach $40,000, except for the SS 427 convertible. Similar cars like the Plymouth Fury and Ford Galaxie command much higher prices because Chevy had a huge share of the market and consequently, good examples of the these cars are much rarer than the comparable Impala.

There is a wide variety of conditions, models and equipment to account for pricing as well. Hagerty Collector Insurance estimates the 1967 Impala in good condition from a low of $7,867 for a four-door sedan with the standard V-8, all the way to $27,735 for the SS 427 coupe and $40,826 for the SS 427 convertible. These prices are for the L35 385-horsepower engine. The 425-horsepower L72 engine from 1968 will bring a premium over these prices, and a discount should apply to cars equipped with the inline six.

About the Author

Michael Bailey has been wrenching hot rods and muscle cars for more than 30 years. He has assembled and consulted on numerous restorations and hot rod builds. Bailey is a restoration and assembly specialist for one of the top muscle car shops in the southwest U.S.

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